Choosing your marketing channel

The digitalization process is continuing to drive the proliferation of media around the world. The result of this development is an ever increasing choice of marketing channels. Choosing the right marketing channels for your SME business is not an exact science, in many business cases it will be a matter of trial and error. However we can narrow down the choice to a few likely options that match your budget, time frames and specific requirements.

We have provided a marketing channel choice matrix for you to refer to. Although this resource is not exhaustive it covers most of the channels you will use and provides a good starting point for thinking about which channels might suit your situation.

It’s in the execution

Remember that even though channel choice is an important factor in the likelihood of campaign success it is not the only factor. It is possible to choose a less suitable channel for your marketing efforts and still get good results because the campaign execution is excellent. Alternatively it is also possible to pick the most suitable channel and do a poor job on the campaign execution with poor results. So channel choice is by no means the end all and be all for marketing success.

It is also important to consider other aspects of your campaign like the tone of voice used and the application of effective copy and imagery. You will also need to give consideration to campaign planning and the measurement of your results so you know what success looks like.

Repetition

Effective marketing campaigns that get customers to take action often rely on frequency to drive home the message and deliver results. There is no substitute for repetition when it comes to promotion especially in a cluttered promotional environment. People are literally exposed to thousands of marketing messages each day so you can’t always expect your audience to remember your offer.

Using multiple channels

Effective marketing often involves the use of multiple channels to communicate an offer. The combined use of different media types allows you to reinforce your message and leverage the combined effect of these different channels. Using online and offline media together can have great results. See our post Choosing Email or Direct Mail for the benefits of combining these channels.

Below is a basic campaign example combining different channels:
1) Start with an initial targeted email campaign to generate awareness.
2) Follow your email with a direct mailing to provide greater detail and reinforce your benefits. This mailing could also include personalisation for each individual or customer type.
3) Concurrently you support your mailing campaign with advertising in the press, trade media or use PR to increase your message saturation in the target market.
4) Finally you complete the process with a series of sales calls to convert your prospective customers.

Convincing your prospective customer of the benefits you offer could require you to generate as many as 7 or 8 touch points between your brand/business and the customer. This level of exposure will depend on the nature of the product or service and extra reinforcement may be required in the case of high value purchases or complex offers.

To deliver a successful marketing campaign you will need to consider more than just choosing the right channels. To gain a greater level of success you will need to maintain focus on the quality and detail of your campaign execution right to the last moment.